Crossovers

Mini set to unveil its first ever plug-in hybrid this year

This should hopefully hold over EV-hungry buyers until a battery-electric Mini drops in 2019.

www.guenterschmied.com

These two gentlemen seem way too excited at the prospect of placing a plug in a Mini's fender.

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The Germans are going all-in on electrification. Ahead of rolling out full-on electric vehicles, BMW's already built itself a nice collection of plug-in hybrids, and for the first time, that will make its way down to the company's Mini brand.

Mini is putting the final touches on its first plug-in hybrid, which should debut later this month, with its first auto-show appearance happening in Los Angeles, the International Business Times reports. The car should be part of the second-generation Countryman lineup, which has yet to be unveiled.

The car may resemble the regular Countryman, but Mini's thrown a few unique bits its way. The charging port is hidden behind the fender dressing on the driver's side. The start-stop button is yellow instead of red, and the tachometer's been removed in favor of a hybrid-specific output gauge.

Mini made no mention of all-electric range. However, it did point out that, based on the vehicle's mode, it can reach speeds of either 50 or 78 mph on electricity alone. If you want to save the battery's charge for urban driving, there's a "Save Battery" mode available, as well.

IB Times reports the Countryman plug-in hybrid will share many of its underpinnings with BMW's European-market 225xe plug-in. That vehicle mates a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine to a hybrid system, with a net output of 221 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque. The hybrid system will power the rear wheels, giving the plug-in Mini all-wheel drive when both gas and electric systems are functioning.

Los Angeles is just a month away, but IB Times claims the Countryman's unveiling will take place before the end of October.

The blur is how you know it's sporty. I think.

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